Saturday, July 2, 2011

Well, June was a busy month!

Charlie hit the road on May 21, driving to Wyoming in four days, with two puppies, one heading to Wyoming, while the new owners of the other would meet him there and take their puppy on to Oregon.  Charlie then took a well-earned vacation, meandering back to Chicago, antiquing his way through Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, then hitting his U of Chicago reunion, and finally antiquing his way back home, arriving on June 9.

On the 11th, I packed up the van and headed west myself, stopping the first night outside of Pittsburgh to deliver yet another pup.  Next stop was Iowa City, where I had breakfast on Monday morning with my daughter, her husband, and 3-year-old son.  Then on to Des Moines, where I picked up new puppy owner Nodie Williams (sans puppy!) who shared the driving (and took on the lion's share!) to the Specialty in Oregon.  The drive was uneventful until the last (long!) day.  Nerys threw up in the van on Tuesday afternoon.  I cleaned it up, and we didn't really think too much about it.  But on our last stop on Tuesday evening, she seemed a bit lethargic (though she got out, did her business, and hopped back into the van).

We finally arrived at the Specialty hotel around 3 in the morning, having called late the previous evening to let them know we would be very late.  Unfortunately, there had been many, many room shuffles, and it took the front desk over an hour to figure out where to put us.  By the time we finally got a room and got the dogs into it, Nerys was in considerable distress, and I threw the last couple of dogs into the room and told Nodie I was taking Nerys to the emergency vet. 

She presented at the vet with a temperature of 106.9, a heart rate of 280, and a stomach full of fluid.  We wet her down and put a fan on her, and her temperature had dropped to normal within a half hour, where it remained throughout the rest of the ordeal.  We feared torsion, but were able to tube her easily, and removed several quarts of fluid.  This brought her heart rate down to a still scary 180, and her stomach was still enlarged and fluid-filled, but she was now reasonably responsive.  When things did not improve over the space of an hour or two, I gave permission for surgery to see if we could determine what was up.

After they had induced anaesthesia, they elected to tube her once more before opening her up, and it turned out that this did the trick.  Apparently she had been fighting the first tubing somewhat, because this time they obtained more fluid and some partially dissolved kibble, and her guts immediately started making noise, and her heart rate dropped to a more reasonable level.  The emergency vet phoned me to ask if I still wanted him to cut, and we decided together that it would be better to wait and see.  They transferred her to a nearby vet who would monitor her until the evening, and by the time I picked her up that evening, she was wagging her tail and clearly on the mend.

Once the vet sent me away, I went back to check on Nodie and the other dogs (who were all sleeping in the room).  Rather than sit and fret, I went ahead and showed Rhionnach in the sweeps, and then ran Rhi, LeLe and Memsie in the lure trial.  It was during the lure trial that I got a call from my son-in-law: my daughter (did I mention that she was nine months pregnant?) was in labor.  Between updates from the vet about Nerys, and updates from my daughter and her husband about the delivery, I was on the phone through most of the trial, but the dogs didn't seem to notice my distraction, and Memsie came in third in the Open stake, while Rhionnach won the Field Champion Stake, and went on to Best of Breed in the ASFA trial!

We picked up Nerys that evening, and though she was clearly feeling better, she was not eating.  I had picked up a few jars of baby-food chicken, and mixed some up with rice from our Chinese take-out, but she only licked up a little bit.  The next morning, I gave her some of the baby chicken alone, and she ate a little bit of it a little more willingly, but not much.  We went down to the show, and began showing the dogs.  Banger was fourth in Bred-By dogs (of four or five, so not a very stellar result), and Beau was second (of two, I think) in Veterans.  But when I walked Nerys during the lunch break, she started nosing my pocket to get at the biscuits I had been using as bait for Beau, and she ate them eagerly!  Yay!

Rhionnach was fourth in the 12-18 bitch class (another class of four or five), and I elected to let Nerys rest rather than show in the Bred-By class.  But then I was thrilled when Jynx won the young Veteran Bitch class.  Among other things, that meant we would have two dogs in Best of Breed, and Nodie would get to be part of the piping in of the specials, possibly the best part of the specialty.

At one point or another, I had noticed a lovely young puppy on the grounds, and when the showing and picture-taking were over and we were back at the set-up, the puppy showed up again.  That was my puppy!  The folks from Oregon had driven up to see part of the Specialty!  No wonder I thought she was a pretty puppy!   Her owners, Tom and Marleen, fed me dinner that night at their RV (Nodie went out with a friend in the area), and it was great to get to know them a bit.

Saturday morning the special were piped in, and Best of Breed competition began.  I had gone to the Specialty hoping that Jynx would win her class, and dreaming that we might win the Veteran Bitch trophy.